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A weekend of intensity on two wheels

Cycling New Zealand Schools Northern Tour

Over the weekend of 7th and 8th of September Thomas McAdams, Riley Wills, Isaac Reay, Oliver Galpin and Jackson Dwyer represented St Paul’s at the annual Cycling New Zealand Schools Northern Tour in Auckland.

On Saturday the under-14, under-15 and under-16 riders competed in a 4km individual time trial on an out and back flat, fast course which included one u-turn. The under-17 and under-20 riders rode two laps for a total of 8km for their time trial. Jackson placed 32nd in the under-14 race; Oliver finished in 39th place in the under-15 race; Riley placed 32nd and Isaac placed 53rd in the under-16 race. Riley completed his 4km time trial in 6.17minutes averaging 38.2kph. Thomas gained 16th place in the under-17 race covering the 8km in 12.39.08 seconds at an average speed of 37.2 kph.

This was followed by an individual hill climb up Mt Wellington which, although only 800m in length, was very demanding due to the incredibly steep gradient of the road. In fact, it was so steep some competitors were struggling to keep their bike moving. Jackson placed 34th in the under-14 race, Oliver placed 36th in the under-15s, Riley finished 40th and Isaac 54th in the under-16s, and Thomas achieved our best result in this race finishing in 10th position.

On Sunday the students competed in a criterium in which the riders are required to race multiple laps around a 1.1km loop at high speeds in slick conditions, taking tight turns while in a group. Points for the first five riders to cross the finish line were awarded every second lap. The under-14s and under-15s raced for 10 minutes; the under-16s for 15 minutes and the under-17s for 20 minutes. It was in this race that St Paul’s had its greatest success of the weekend with Riley winning the B grade under-16 criterium. In the under-14s, Jackson placed 30th; Oliver 19th in the under-15s; Isaac placed 20th in the under-16s B Grade and Thomas placed 17th in the under-17s.

All riders built on their performances from the North Island Championships in July and produced strong personal efforts competing in races which sometimes contained as many as 60 riders. Special mention goes to Thomas who qualified for the A grade of the under-17 criterium.

The general classification results for the tour were calculated by adding up each rider’s results over the three events they had competed in. So Jackson finished his tour in 32nd position; Oliver 16th; Riley was 4th in the under-16 B Grade; Isaac 22nd also in the under-16 B grade and Thomas 14th in the under-17 A grade.

North Island Schools Cycling Championships

Over the weekend of 6th and 7th September, eight students represented St Paul’s at the North Island Schools Cycling Championships. Based at Lake Karapiro, this event attracted over 600 riders who competed in three races: a team time trial; a road race; and a criterium. On Saturday morning, Riley Wills, Toby Finlayson, Oliver Galpin and Jackson Dwyer formed an under-16 team time trial squad, with Thomas McAdams, Lachlan Coleman, Oliver Larcombe and Isaac Reay riding as an under-20 team. Both teams rode well and gained valuable experience for future racing.

In the afternoon, students competed in the individual road race. Oliver Galpin rode 36km in the under-15 race. Riley Wills, returning from Tihoi, had a 45km race in the under-16 age group. Just returning to road cycling, he did well to come in 27th, with Isaac Reay and Toby Finlayson also competing in the same race. Thomas McAdams and Oliver Larcombe had a 55km race in the under-17 age group, with Thomas placing 10th and Oliver 16th - both of whom rode exceptionally well to finish in the leading group in a Tour de France-like mass finish, with just two seconds separating the 4th placegetter and the 24th.

On Sunday, the riders took part in a criterium where they sprint around a 1.6km tight, winding course over multiple laps, often riding shoulder to shoulder and cornering at speeds which the lead car struggles with. Oliver Galpin, Riley Wills, Isaac Reay and Thomas McAdams all rode well, finishing their races strong and gained valuable experience for the upcoming national events.